Saturday, January 02, 2016

Gamify my life?

In Getting Things Done, Dave Allen came up with the theory that you have to write down everything you need to do, because otherwise it's floating around in your head, reminders, because you're afraid you'll forget, so you can't get anything done because you can't concentrate on it. If you write everything down onto lists that you know you will check, then decide what you need to do now, then you can put your full concentration on it and get it done.

There are lots of ideas about gamifying different activities to encourage good behavior.

It could function like the Dave Allen thing, except what it is clearing up is your conscience.

Nothing succeeds like success or fails like failure. Have you noticed that once you get used to exercising, it's easier to continue? Once you start eating the candy, it's hard to stop. Some of it could be the guilt weighing you down, getting in your head. Suppose you had a point system to use, so, like, every piece of candy cost you 5 points, you subtract the points, it's written down, it's not in your head any more.

The trick is to come up with an adequate scale system. Then I can keep score in my Daytimers. (Aside: the reason I bought another Daytimers in spite of them costing a ridiculous amount of money is that I like how they show the day broken up from 8am to 8pm, with one side of the page where you write down what you're supposed to be doing during that time, and the other side of the line where you write down what you actually did.)

Draft of activities and points:

  • Washing a sinkful of dishes +5 points
  • Mopping the kitchen floor +20 points
  • Throwing out, or giving to Goodwill a shopping bag-full of stuff (my house is over-cluttered) +30 points
  • Writing a blog entry +15 points
  • Staying up past 10pm when I have to be somewhere in the morning:  -5 points, 
    • -5 points for each hour afterwards
  • Working on a chapter's worth of novel/screenplay/short story: +25 points
  • Organizing the writing so I know what to do next, or any writing +20 points / hour
  • Wasting time at work: Allow 5 minutes per hour, plus 1 15-minute break morning & mid afternoon as no-guilt, then -1 point per minute after.
  • Proper exercise session at the Y: 20-30 minutes aerobics plus all the weight machines on my card: 40 points
  • Swimming 20 laps: 37 points
  • 20 minutes aerobic activity: 20 points
  • 5 points per Let's Dance song on the Wii in the living room
  • Reading:
    • Classic, kind of hard book, that I ought to read to be educated: 25 points
    • Fun book: 10 points
    • Reading a fun sf book for an entire day without doing anything else?
      • Guilt-free if it's one day of a 2 or more days off and there wasn't something very important I was supposed to be doing?
      • Oh, all right, minus 10 points.
      • So I break even?
      • OK, minus 14 points? Leaving me -4 for the day?
      • Maybe there should just be a minus point system for not doing anything in certain categories for an entire day, like, cleaning, cooking, coaching a kid with homework, seeing daylight? Though once the book was finished, I did make spaghetti and talked to my kids. & maybe watched Dr Who with them?
      • Are there points for watching TV if it's with your kids?
      • -12 points for any day I don't go outside.
      • -5 points for no exercise in a day? 
    • Anyway, I should make a list of books that I ought to read and assign them point values.
  • Playing piano: 20 minutes = 10 points
  • Playing lute:
    • Tuning the damn thing after I haven't touched it in a while: 17 points
    • Practicing: 5 points for each 2 songs? 15 points per session? I miss playing lute. I used to do it every night. Now and then. It's why I haven't gotten any better at it in 20 years. Similar to piano...
    • When I'm doing it, it's so pretty, and relaxing.. 
  • Crochet: I can't decide. It's good because it makes me feel good. It is a healthy procrastination.
    • OK, 5 points for starting the project that someone said would actually be welcome.
  • Ice cream, chocolate cake, etc -5 points per serving
  • Other cleaning: I should open this up as a family game. Maybe the kids could redeem points earned by sweeping the hallway, other cleanup...  [or use]
A Google search reveals there are many resources already existing for this sort of thing.
Here's a LifeHacker review of several apps.
Dilemma: I don't want to pay for anything, but, as the saying goes, when you're using a free app, you're the product not the customer. The payment is a huge chunk of privacy.

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